AIRS refers to the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems. This Certification is a professional credentialing program for individuals working within the I&R sector of human services and measurement of documented knowledge in the I&R field showing specific competencies and related performance criteria which describes the skill, knowledge, attitude, and work-related behaviors needed by I&R practitioners to execute their responsibilities successfully. The certification is operated in alignment with the standards provided by National Organization for Competency Assurance. AIR’s diverse membership comprises individuals, agencies, community organizations, and governmental entities that assist people to connect with the services they require and are situated in Canada and the United States.
Who can become AIRS Certified?
Candidates may apply to take the certification examinations once they are eligible. Eligibility criteria depend on I&R and equivalent experience combined with the background of education. To take the exam, you must require –
- Applicants who have a bachelor’s or higher degree must have at least one year of employment in I&R.
- Applicants have Associates/Community College degree, must have two years of employment in I&R.
- Applicants have a High School diploma or GED, must have three years of employment in I&R.
- Five years of I&R experience for applicants with no educational qualifications.
How do you apply?
AIR Certification/Recertification application form is for all applicants whether they are new, retaking the exam, or rectifying. This application can be employed for both Canadian and United States certifications. Completed payment, applications, and supporting documentation must arrive at least 30 days prior to the test date.
How much does it cost?
The basic cost of certification application is-
- $75 for AIRS members at a basic level (with applicable discounts means $65 for Premium members
- $72 for Standard level members and $68 for Enhanced members) whereas $225 for non-members.
An examination re-take for candidates who do not pass (must be taken within 12 months of the last attempt)
- $75 for non-members.
- $40 for AIRS members.
AIRS Recertification is $175 for non-members and $40 for AIRS members.
Format of AIRS examination
The exams are computer-based only and comprise of 100 four-part multiple choice questions. Candidates have two hours and ten minutes to complete the examination and held throughout the year at multiple locations across Canada and United States and also at AIRS Annual Training Conference. You will receive your results through e-mail within a minimum of ten working days.
Certifications are available for three specializations within I&R mentioned below
- CRS stands for Certification for Community Resource Specialist, designed for practitioners who work directly with clients whether on the phone or in-person and provide mediated I&R-that is creating rapport, providing an informed choice of referrals, conducting an assessment, offering an informed choice of referrals, engaging into follow-up and being capable of providing crisis or advocacy intervention if required.
- CRS-A/D stands for Certification for Community Resource Specialist in Aging and Disabilities, designed for practitioners who work directly with clients and caregivers within the aging and disabilities area and perform a basic range of skills and tasks as a comprehensive I&R Specialist but who also have a special depth of knowledge linked to their core client group.
- CRS-DC stands for Certification for Community Resource Specialist-Database Curator, designed for practitioners who maintain databases of resources for the communities they serve and have expertise in organizing, gathering, indexing, and dissemination of information about services and the organizations that provide them.
Candidates must follow the Ethical Principles of AIRS Certification in all of the above certifications. It serves as a guide to the everyday professional conduct of Community Resource Specialists in the provision of Information and Referral (I&R).
How long does certification last?
There is a need for rectification of the AIRS certificate every two years. You are not required to appear in the examination again. Only, an application form is required to be filled besides documents at least ten hours of I&R training period over those two years. This can include CEUs, online training, in-house training, conference workshops, etc. Documentation of date/time of the event, name, and position of instructor comprising of training techniques.
The benefits of the AIR Certificate
- bring several I&R providers under one organization.
- builds a growing, information of community in high-quality and I&R sector across North America.
- assists I&R professionals to solve issues by finding solutions, make their jobs more effective and comfortable.
- develops clear and consistent professional Standards that benchmark every aspect of quality.
- I&R to ensure a uniform level of quality and professionalism across the sector.
- brings credibility to agencies that provide information on community services.
To summarize the above work, we can conclude that Alliance of Information and Referral Systems provides a wealth of benefits to you, your organization, and the communities you serve. So, the study is mandatory to improve the quality of I&R service received by the public, recognize the professional I&R practitioners and provide an increased measurement of quality assurance to organizations that provide I&R.